A county police captain was justified in his use of force when a man who had already fired on police officers in another incident ignored commands and grabbed a pistol, a letter from the Floyd County District Attorney stated.
A series of incidents culminated in the shooting death of Jeffery Tyler Aycock during a Rome-Floyd County SWAT action on Sept. 22, 2019, at 461 Chulio Road, about a mile off the road in an abandoned cabin.
There already was a manhunt for Aycock, after he’d shot at police officers on Sept. 17 when they’d attempted to serve probation violation warrants at his father’s Sam Harris Road home.
According to police, he’d yelled he wasn’t going back to prison and began firing a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber pistol. His father blocked pursuing police officers as Aycock fled in a white 2002 GMC Suburban.
“Overall, there were more than 35 shots exchanged between Aycock and law enforcement,” DA Leigh Patterson stated in the letter to Floyd County Police Chief Mark Wallace.
Investigators finally caught up with Aycock at property belonging to Guy Haney at 461 Chulio Road and called in the SWAT team. They then began to clear the area around a residence on the property. In doing so they encountered a building that appeared to be abandoned, with boarded up windows, approximately 100 yards from the residence.
At first police didn’t know Aycock was in the dilapidated building but a Floyd County Police Department captain and another police officer on the SWAT team entered the building to clear it.
They found Aycock and Victoria Shaffer lying on a mattress.
The captain “began giving verbal commands, and when Aycock didn’t comply and grabbed a handgun, (he) fired his duty rifle, striking Aycock multiple times,” the letter stated.
Once down, the two SWAT team members secured the pistol Aycock had used in the Sept. 17 incident and began rendering first aid.
“I conclude there is absolutely no evidence of criminal activity or wrongdoing ... for his use of deadly force on September 22, 2019, against Jeffery Tyler Aycock,” Patterson stated. “It was authorized force to apprehend a suspected felon who (again) possessed a deadly weapon and posed an immediate threat of physical violence to law enforcement and the community.”
The Rome News-Tribune is not publishing the names of the officers involved in this case.
Known as a member of the Ghostface Gangsters, Aycock had a criminal history including convictions in 2006 for obstruction of a police officer and 2011 for burglary. He’d been released from Lee State Prison in March 2019.
Aycock had several of the gang’s signature tattoos. The seven-pointed star tattooed on his throat is one of the gang’s hallmarks as well as the “1919” tattooed on his chin — standing for “secret silent” — which is a call from the gang to keep quiet.
In all, three other people were arrested on obstruction of an officer charges in connection with the search. His father, Todd Aycock, was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty stemming from the Sept. 17 incident.
Shaffer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years on probation. Haney’s trial and sentencing recently concluded, on March 22. Haney was sentenced to serve two years in prison with another three years of probation after a jury trial. He has filed a motion for a new trial in superior court.
While the peripheral cases worked their way through the court system and the DA review was pending, a FCPD firearms review panel found that the captain had not violated any department policies.
The five person panel consists of county police personnel, appointed by the Floyd County Commission chair, who reviewed the incident and made their determination.
“There was no finding of wrongdoing,” Chief Wallace said.